“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
Just to set expectations from the get-go, this is *not* an emo-laden, poor me, the misunderstood entrepreneur post.
In fact, it might just be the opposite. I’m way more likely to tell a whiney entrepreneur to shut the fuck up or get out of the game than to be all soft, cuddly and understanding.
Why the tough love? Because if merely hearing that dents your soul, this ain’t your game.
Now, there are many paths to get to that hardened point, and each entrepreneur has their own story. What’s mine? I’m pretty sure it was a culmination of things vs one single thing.
Maybe it was my no work, no play/no pay upbringing, or my years in competitive (i.e., no place/no medal) athletics. Maybe it was my long stint in the military, shouldering a family at 21. Could have been the long grind from nothing to something; and subsequent one-two punch losses; first in the stock market, then in real estate. Maybe it was the loss of a daughter in the midst of it all. But the one thing I do know is that you can’t be soft and be a successful entrepreneur. But more importantly, the “job” description demands a certain hardened resolve. If you can’t handle blunt (and sometimes, brutal) feedback, you won’t last long in this game anyway. That certainly doesn’t mean you have to be a prick; in fact, that’s a HUGE negative. However, you do have to be resilient.
Seriously, entrepreneurship is *not* for everybody. And that’s cool; it takes all types to change the world for the better. But to go skipping off blindly into entrepreneurship thinking you’ll never “work” another day in your life is to be grossly mislead.
And too, this isn’t an “I suffered so you must as well” thing. What I’m offering you here is a path toward inoculation from the standing eight count that reaching higher is inevitably going to deal you. And the caveat here being that “inoculation” *does not* in any way mean “non exposure”. Get in the mix, and you’re gonna take your fair share of roundhouses to the jaw. There’s no avoiding that; no matter how good the defense. No, “inoculation” only means you have the internal fortitude to weather the storm.
The psychological toll
I can’t expound much more than than is done in this Inc. article (The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship) by Jessica Bruder. Yeah, entrepreneurship is a grind, and it’s much better to flock with like-minded individuals. Because people with normal gigs just won’t get it (or you, for that matter).
The pending physical trainwreck
We all know how this story ends: Type-A hard-charging entrepreneur holds it together for a while, but eventually the cracks begin to show. Sometimes those cracks are duct taped by alcohol and/or drugs, sometimes with psychological “control” disorders. Bulletproof and immune to crash or failure, they put the hammer down and don’t let up. Whether in the athletic or entrepreneurial world, I’ve seen it too many times.
And this isn’t at all a moral judgement. It is, though, a health and performance question. Anything (including exercise) used to mask an underlying problem or force the body consistently beyond physiological limitation is bound to end in a fireball of spectacular proportions. Also, neglecting physical “upkeep and maintenance” is just another — though possibly “less spectacular” — crash and burn scenario. Like a Fukushima reactor, you’ll just melt down (somewhat) silently from the inside.
I mean, for fuck’s sake. Just take a moment to contemplate the hoops that must be jumped through to keep a stock car in a weekend’s race. And you, my friend, are an infinitely more complex piece of high-precision machinery. Yet you treat YOU, Inc., like a fucking Yugo. Stop that stupid shit.
We all know this. Even kids get it; it’s intuitive. And yet somehow we fool ourselves into thinking we’re the chosen ones. Can some last longer and endure more than others? Of course. But do you really like the odds of your being the lone “Keith Richards” of the entrepreneurial world?
And even right now you’re goin’ “fuck yeah! That’s me! I’m indestructible…” Well, maybe so. But I’m still putting my money on your adrenals puchin’ out. Or your T dropping to that of a 12 year old Chinese girl. Or some good ol’ all-American blood sugar disregulation, metabolic derangement or plain-and-simple sluggish fat-assedness.
Doesn’t sound like any kind of foundation for “high level performance” does it?
And that trade-off, by the way, is no guarantee that your business will even take flight. And even if it did, it’ll now likely auger into the parched earth without you at its day-to-day helm. Because the simple fact of the matter is that no one loves your business (or your dogs, your kids, or your effin’ vacation pictures) like you do. In fact, they’re tired of hearing you yammer on about all of ’em.
Change the world! But do so from a solid foundation
So it’s not that I don’t want you to go out and punch this complacent world in its pie hole. I want you to do exactly that! We need more world changers! But I want you to be able to sustain the fight when you do. Because that mofo is *not* gonna go down without a nasty, protracted fight.
So what can you do to hone your inner resolve? Well, you know those four pillars I’m always yappin’ about? THAT’s what you have to work into your life.
And I want you to get your Five Ts shit together.
All of this fits together; a perfectly interconnected puzzle. Is it a lot to master? Hell yeah it is. Get over it; you’ve got a world to change, and it ain’t gonna get changed by those of less-than-optimal resolve.
In health, fitness and ancestral wellness –